FTSE Recovers in Afternoon Trading
The FTSE 100 climbed back into positive territory this afternoon, as investors prepared for the release of bank results next week, and digested some disappointing retail sales stats.
The UK’s leading index is currently sitting at 7,129 - up ten points on the day, after having slipped significantly during the morning’s trade. The news came as Mike Saunders, a policymaker at the Bank of England, commented that he expected growth and inflation to be better than previously forecast, and said that he expected modest rate rises.
Retail sales figures for March show that the sector is declining - the quarter showed the fastest rate of decline since 2010 - which has sparked fears that consumer spending is entering a period of prolonged contraction. This, if it continues, could mean that rates won’t rise for the rest of the year - and potentially next year either.
In the FTSE, one of the biggest gainers was Aviva. The insurance company added 1.23 percent over the first part of the trading day, after revealing that it had purchased VietinBank’s 50% stake in its life-insurance joint venture, and has signed a distribution agreement with VietinBank to sell life insurance and health insurance through the company’s network of more than 1,100 branches.
Another major gainer was Marks and Spencer, who added 1.67 percent to the company, after Barclays started covering the shares.
Meanwhile, global tensions remain high following the terrorist attack in Paris, however the expectation is that US markets will open higher today.